If you want a solid indoor security camera that can double as a smart speaker, and don’t mind paying extra for a more or less mandatory subscription service, Amazon has a solid deal right now. The Ecobee SmartCamera is on sale for $80, or $20 off the usual $100. The deal only lasts through April 14, however.
We reviewed the Ecobee SmartCamera last summer, giving it three out of five stars. That rating was mostly for its higher price and the subscription requirement, though at least one of those factors—its lofty sticker price—isn’t an issue today. “Ecobee builds our absolute favorite smart thermostat, and its new SmartCamera with voice-control security camera is just as innovative,” we said.
The camera itself features 1080p video capture, a 180-degree field of view, auto pan and zoom, and two-way talk. As a smart speaker, the Ecobee SmartCamera has Amazon’s Alexa built-in for simple web queries, traffic and weather updates, and for listening to music via subscription services such as Spotify. The presence of Alexa also means the SmartCamera can control compatible smart home devices.
As of last December, the SmartCamera is compatible with Apple's HomeKit Secure Video protocol, which allows for recorded videos to be analyzed on local "home hub" devices, such as an Apple TV, an iPad, or a HomePod or HomePod mini. You can also store recorded clips securely in iCloud.
While the Ecobee SmartCamera offers a live feed for free, you'll need to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven cloud service for $5 per month (or $10 per month for homes with multiple cameras) to record videos for later perusal. There’s no option to keep videos via onboard storage.
As long as you don’t mind paying extra for Haven, or just dealing with only live views, the Ecobee SmartCamera offers good value at $80.